Sunday, 27 October 2013


This page is about churches which have been moved for one reason or another.
Moveable churches
Two churches in North Yorkshire were not originally built on their present sites.
In 1877 the parish church of St Mary (c1310) at Tadcaster near York was actually moved stone by stone from its original position five feet lower on the bank of the River Wharfe to its present position on higher ground just a few yards away.   This was done to eliminate the risk of persistent flooding, a shrewd move in the present climate.
Tadcaster Church

The tiny Elizabethan church of St Chad at Sproxton near Helmsley was originally the private chapel of the Cholmley family at West Newton Grange a few miles away.  It fell into disuse in the 18th century and was used as a farm building until 1878 when it was removed and rebuilt on its present site.   This tiny gem was re-consecrated by the Archbishop of York in August 1879.
Sproxton Church

Whilst the Abbey church at Fearn in Ross and Cromarty in Scotland has been on its present site since 1338, it was in fact moved from its original site at Edderton, several miles away near the Dornoch Firth, in that year.    In 1772 the Chapel roof collapsed, killing a number of people.
Fearn Church
Apparently this church was not built on its intended site
Godshill on the Isle of Wight is the quintessential English village where the church on its hill dominates the charming thatched cottages. Legend has it that when the villagers tried to build their church at the foot of the hill, the stones were found to have persistently been moved to the top of the hill where the church was eventually built on Gods Hill.

Godshill church

A marooned church

Perhaps this church should have been moved but at least it was saved from
being completely drowned.
Normanton church in Rutland was built in 1826.   Prior to the creation of Rutland Water in the 1970’s when the village of Hambleton was submerged, the floor level of the church was raised and the masonry was proofed against damp.  A bank and causeway were also constructed and thus access was maintained and the church was preserved in the waters of the new reservoir.

Normanton Church

A buried church

Peeping out of the sand dunes overlooking Daymar Bay on the eastern tip of the Camel Estuary in North Cornwall, is the tiny church of St Enodoc which was once completely buried in the sand.   The ancient village nearby was also engulfed in sand and abandoned.   In 1864 the church was cleared of sand and restored.

Former poet laureate, Sir John Betjeman is buried in the churchyard.

St Enodoc's Church

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